Open Thread: *[Crickets]*

Remember the Great Bulk-Shipped Crickets Escape? We’re not the only Extremely On-Line People who appreciated it, per author Christopher Ingraham, reporting for the Washington Post:

For Christmas this year, my family adopted a young bearded dragon lizard as a pet.

Our dragon, whom we named Holly, eats a lot, and the thing she loves to eat most is crickets (typically about 10 a day, in addition to other things like mealworms and vegetables). From the get-go, I knew that keeping an ample supply of crickets on hand would require some planning. We live in a rural area of northwestern Minnesota. The closest pet shop is an hour away, in North Dakota. Restocking our cricket supply would require a time commitment of at least two hours out and back.

By Christmas Day this year, Holly’s cricket supply was running low. I decided to order crickets online, which I had never done before, to save a trip to North Dakota. I bought the crickets from Fluker Farms, one of the more well-established online insect vendors (yes, these exist and there are a lot of them). I decided on a shipment of 250 crickets, which seemed like a reasonable amount for a lizard who is theoretically capable of gobbling up to 50 of them every day…

The package arrived Friday. I anxiously met the FedEx delivery man at the door. He appeared to be relieved to unburden himself of the six-inch-square box emblazoned with the words “Live Insects” and decorated with life-size cricket silhouettes. We exchanged no words. If you’re a FedEx driver, you probably try to avoid conversations with the types of people who order boxes full of insects from the Internet…

Writer Nicole Cliffe took it to a whole new level. For once, it is safe to read the comments, as long as you don’t have anything in your mouth:

46 replies
  1. 1
    Lapassionara says:

    There is a surprising amount of information on the web about raising crickets. If I knew how, I would link. I did not get an answer to my main question, which is how long does it take a cricket egg to hatch. I did find out that they will eat other crickets if they don’t have a good source of food. So this cricket-releaser probably saved some cricket lives by letting them escape.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    I am now picturing yet another remake of Wrath of the Titans with some actor, over-emoting level set to eleven hams, shouting ‘RELEASE THE CRICKETS!’.

  3. 3
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Trump Aides are asking Democrats for a “counter-offer” after Trump goes from “5 Billion for Wall or Nothing!” to “2.5 Billion for the Wall or Nothing!”.
    I am predicting this:

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Funny, I could’ve sworn crickets couldn’t be milked.

  5. 5
    p.a. says:

    As far as I know, the occidental calendar has no animal associations, so let’s start one: 2019, the Year of the Cricket.

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    @Anonymous At Work: Xeno’s Wall Budget.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    Don’t give him nuthin’, not 2.5 billion, not 2.5 thousand, not $2.50. Once it is established as an acceptable program, there is no going back.

  8. 8
    Ohio Mom says:

    You know the old question, If you were on a deserted island what book/album/whatever would you take?

    The answer is clearly “A connection to Balloon Juice” because everything a person really needs to know appears here. Often before anywhere else.

    Two weeks ago, as I was entering the neighborhood post office, a woman came out carrying two boxes, each marked (and sounding like) “Live Chicks.” My first thought was, Where around here (the inner ring suburbs) are you allowed to keep chickens in your yard?

    But I was not fast enough to ask before she got in her car and drove away.

  9. 9
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    I found links describing 7-10 days. One is here and Premium Crickets will sell you 60K (approximately) eggs for $65 – winter protection is an extra $3. I hope you’re happy that now you’ve got me looking up cricket breeding information.

    By the way, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen the look the FedEx guy gives you when you sign for a delivery with contents described as “SEMEN.”

  10. 10

    Well great. Now I’m getting ads for crickets up top. Thanks, Cole.

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    I was planning to have a productive day — really I was! — until our youngest cat Charlotte decided that she needed to nap under the bedcovers, which means that I have to stay in bed with my knees up so I can make a blanket tent for her to nap under. Because princess doesn’t like to have the blankets laying directly on top of her.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    @Ohio Mom

    Making single serve portions of soup one at a time takes unique skills.


  13. 13
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Ohio Mom:Not sure if this is current, but at one point you could keep up to 10 chickens in Hamilton County OH: Not sure if this is current, but at one point you could keep up to 10 chickens in Hamilton County OH: Certainly it would (likely) be subject to prohibition by, say a Blue Ash or Madeira or Cincinnati local municipal ordinance

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    Counteroffer: $5 billion for Mueller.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    I’m guessing it’s going to be like when Republicans demanded to know when Nancy Pelosi was going to deliver the Democrats’ plan to cut Social Security in 2004-ish and her answer was:

    “How about ‘never’? Is ‘never’ good for you?”

    In January of 2017, Congressional Democrats were in the minority with an uncertain electoral future, so they were willing to make a deal. In January of 2018 with a majority in the House, they have ZERO incentive to deal. None. Nada. The Republicans had their chance to get funding for Trump’s stupid wall last year, and they blew it by overplaying their hand. Too bad, so sad, better luck next time, chumps.

  16. 16
    Baud says:


    “Sorry, boss. I couldn’t get that report done due to a family emergency.”

  17. 17
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Ohio Mom: Trying again:
    Suburban Chicken Standards

    I now need to further research area suburban chicken regulations. I hope you’re happy. :-)

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:


    In January of 2018


    Time for the annual retraining of the muscle memory…

  19. 19
    Waldo says:

    I was the guy (one of them, anyway) who released the crickets in the dorm as a prank.

    Fun fact: crickets, like roaches, prefer dark places, so all you have to do is release them next to the victims’ room after lights out and they’ll scurry right in.

    Less fun fact: crickets, like roaches, are not welcome guests in dorm rooms, so not everyone will view this as a harmless prank.

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:


    This boss has claws. Sharp ones. She takes priority right now.

    And it’s Sunday, anyway.


    Argh! Now I can’t remember if the initial offer from Democrats to deal on the wall was 2017 or 2018. It may well have been 2018 instead. 🤔

  21. 21
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Ohio Mom: Tom Brinkman (R-Cinti – as you know but most probably don’t) introduced HB 175
    to sidestep local zoning laws that limit or prohibit keeping backyard chickens and other farm animals:

    Brinkman’s bill prescribes a limit of how many small livestock can be kept in a residential backyard based on overall acreage and the type of animal. If you live on one acre, you could have up to 20 chickens, 20 rabbits or three goats. If you live on a quarter-acre, your fowl or small animal limit would be a five and goats wouldn’t be allowed.

    It also says roosters, which are notoriously noisy, aren’t included as small livestock.

    The bill also sets conditions for the small livestock owners to follow: sturdy housing for the animals that is no less than 10 feet from neighboring property lines, no noxious odors or unsanitary conditions, and no nuisances.

    The bill is likely to, ahem, ruffle some feathers. Area communities such as Beavercreek, Dayton and Huber Heights have struggled with conflicting views on whether backyard chickens should be allowed.

    Danielle Richardson of Cincinnati said she has been working with Brinkman on the bill to establish minimum property rights when it comes to gardening and raising small livestock. “People are fighting for the right to produce their own food,” she said.

    Dayton Daily News, linked above.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:


    Crickets eat paper and are super destructive inside libraries and other places that store a lot of paper, like an archive. I don’t hate crickets, but I sure would have been pissed at the person who set them free to munch on my textbooks and term papers.

  23. 23

    I just got a short story rejection. Sigh. I don’t care how many acceptances you get, rejection never stops sucking.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @Mnemosyne: I couldn’t remember either, so I asked Google, which said that the DACA/Wall deal was discussed from the winter through the spring of 2018. It certainly seems like an eternity ago.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Do you want me to break their kneecaps?

  26. 26
    chris says:

    ICYMI here is PJmedia’s top 50 “conservative” websites of 2018. (Quote marks mine.)

    I think I lost a few IQ points just reading the list. The few I’d never run across are particularly choice if dumber than bean dip is your thing.

  27. 27

    @Baud: If you would be so kind. :-)

    I need to revise the opening of this thing and send it right back out. Submit until hell won’t have it. That’s my motto

  28. 28
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: That’s a great motto. And if Baud’s too busy with planning Baud! 2020, I’m also available for kneecapping.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Gex says:

    It bothers me that this all happened in a dead thread because I really think it is important not to respond to the fact of Russian trolls by, say, automatically dismissing things as trolling.

    If there is a lot of false information being put out, one would think the first thing you do is a two-second Google before you dismiss people. I’m not sure it’s all that helpful to say something is probably false without even making the bare minimum effort to determine if you have any cause to.

    Saved a BernieBro or a bot from having to muddy those waters, I guess.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    Le sigh. Finally convinced myself to spend a few bucks for a couple of games on pretty decent sale price at Steam, games which I had put into my shopping cart earlier.

    Logged in and – the cart is suddenly now empty. Trying to remember which games they were; drawing a blank so far.

  32. 32
    lgerard says:


    That is a hilarious list. i was amazed to find that

    a) Lucianne Goldberg is still alive
    b) She still has a website, the design of which makes the Free Republic look futuristic in comparison

  33. 33
    debbie says:


    She cribbed that from a New Yorker cartoon, and it is now the title of that cartoonist’s autobiography. I recommend it most highly!

  34. 34
    debbie says:

    A cricket once took up residence in my apartment’s basement window well. Jeez, the acoustics! I could hear its chirps even when I was on the second floor.

  35. 35
    chris says:

    @lgerard: And Weasel Zippers! Still going after all these years. Haven’t seen it since the 00s.

  36. 36
    Starfish says:

    Another part of the crickets saga that I loved were the replies from the FedEx drivers.

  37. 37
    Starfish says:

    @Gex: There is a lot of assumption of bad faith that goes on online. I mostly see it on Twitter, and it really is exhausting. There are people who expect you to have a well-researched position while they spout off nonsense and will hate all your references for reasons that they will make up right now.

  38. 38
    Percysowner says:

    @Ohio Mom:I don’t know about other cities, but my SIL had chickens, ducks and geese in the middle of Akron, Ohio. She had a large backyard and fit under this ordinance Who knew?

  39. 39
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Horse breeding adventures? Cuz otherwise, the mind reels. : )

  40. 40
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Submit until hell won’t have it. That’s my motto

    You’ve just inspired me.

  41. 41
    Sab says:

    @Percysowner: I knew. We have chickens down the street from us in Akron. A friend of my husbands grew up with chlickens, geese and a goat all in town, and all legal.

  42. 42
    laura koerber says:

    I have Cricket service on my cell phone. Just saying.

  43. 43
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Good to know, thanks.

    I have trouble believing Blue Ash would allow chickens in anyone’s back yard. Or maybe I have trouble imagining anyone living in Blue Ash would do anything as outre as raising chickens. They tend to be a dull bunch.

  44. 44
    DHD says:

    I looked into my soul and realized that… I am the one who eats crickets.

  45. 45
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    I am the “why-yes-there-has-been-a-live-mouse-in-the-car-for-3-days*-well-yes-I’m-planning-to-take-care-of-it” person, so…

  46. 46
    ixnay says:

    I’m the “Oh, did you step on that rake too?” guy responding Dr. Ms. Ixnay after she found the same rake. “And you didn’t move it?” Things deteriorated at this point.

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